Backgrounder: Government of Canada Launches New Employment Assistance Services Stream


The new Employment Assistance Services (EAS) stream under the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (EF-OLMC) is one of the most important initiatives in the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028: Protection – Promotion – Collaboration to ensure that people living in OLMCs are able to find, obtain and maintain a job. Up to 43,000 Canadians will have access to these services annually, and these supports will be delivered by organizations that understand the unique needs of individuals who are part of OLMCs. Organizations have until June 20, 2024 to apply for funding.

Eligible projects under the EAS stream must address one or more of the following related activities that are conducted with OLMC clients.

  1. job search assistance;
  2. counselling or case management services;
  3. unassisted services; and
  4. other activities related to employment assistance services that are not identified above.

Projects and activities

The Department will accept proposals from organizations that demonstrate that they meet the following objectives of the EAS stream by:

  • providing employment assistance services through OLMC organizations, based on an understanding of the unique labour market needs of communities (through a "by and for" approach); and
  • integrating the services of these organizations into broader provincial and territorial skills and employment delivery systems to better meet client needs, including through two-way communication and referrals.

The Department reserves the right to evaluate projects in a comparative and collective manner. Priority may be given to proposed projects that meet one or a combination of the following criteria:

  • provide services in more than one of the four identified employment assistance service activities;
  • establish and maintain collaborative relationships with service providers that contribute to the success of the service model (such as sectors, regions or industries, or with community/not-for-profit groups, educational institutions or other service providers);
  • contribute to pan-Canadian coverage by serving larger areas of OLMC clients, including those living in rural or remote areas; and
  • serve people living in OLMCs with intersectional identities (other underrepresented groups such as 2SLGBTQI+ people, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, persons with disabilities, racialized persons, women or youth).

Projects must have an end date of March 31, 2029.

Eligible Applicants

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:

  • not-for-profit organizations in OLMCs;
  • for-profit organizations in OLMCs;
  • Indigenous organizations that serve an Indigenous community whose first official language—French or English—is the minority language of the province or territory.

An OLMC organization is defined as having a mission or mandate where the majority of resources are primarily devoted to supporting members of OLMCs at the national, provincial, regional or local level, which includes educational or vocational training institutions.

Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to do so electronically through the Grants and Contributions Online Services portal. Creating an account on this portal is a one-time process that allows organizations to apply for various Employment and Social Development Canada funding opportunities in a secure web environment. 

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